Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters.
The first is Weeks 1 through 12. During this time is when you find out you’re pregnant, your boobs will be super sore and when you’ll find the most morning sickness and nausea. Usually no one would know you’re pregnant if you didn’t tell them. This is a tough time for a lot of women, because the chance of pregnancy loss or miscarriage is very high throughout this period of time, so it can be extremely anxiety provoking.
The second trimester is Weeks 13 through 27. This is when most women catch the nesting bug, because the nausea and vomiting has (most likely) passed, and you have a healthy appetite and energy for the first time in weeks! You are more than likely going to clean and organize until you run out of things to clean and organize (impossible!) and you feel a certain sense of urgency to make it all happen TODAY. I mean, we’re talking baseboards, window screens and that big container of screws, nuts, bolts and washers in the garage – ORGANIZED! As this trimester progresses, your belly tends to look more like you’re pregnant, and less like you’ve been inadvertently carb-loading or eating too much chipotle on the regular.
Your third trimester runs from Week 28 through Week 40 or birth – whichever comes first. Tomorrow I will be at 33 weeks exactly, so I’ve been in this third trimester for 5 weeks now. I’m almost halfway through!!
Let me just tell you that this trimester has hit me like a ton of bricks?
The exhaustion. The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The swelling. The growing belly – it’s so big I can’t see my toes anymore! Folks, I get out of breath putting on my socks. It’s absolutely impossible for me to sit up or stand up without making sound effects. Time seems to have ground to a screeching halt. It’s starting to drag ever-so-slowly… I feel like Monday was 6 weeks ago, whereas the first trimester was just a month or so ago… It’s strange! The insomnia is real, and may have something to do with it all. It’s all developed into this crazy concoction of a third trimester over the past five weeks.
Speaking of insomnia: Why is it that middle-of-the-night-thoughts can be so brutal? In the middle of the night, when I’m wide awake because I got up to pee for the millionth time or because I rolled into a bad position and now I’m in pain and can’t feel my shoulders, elbows and fingers unless I sit up completely, my thought process very often goes a little something like this:
I think about the long and difficult road it took to finally conceive. There were countless tears, umpteen doctors appointments, and months upon months went by with nothing but disappointment. That struggle was so real.
I reminisce about my first and second trimesters that were very easy with minimal side effects, and for this I consider myself extremely lucky.
And then I think about the fact that there are times when I do gripe about the pain in my elbows from falling asleep with pinched nerves for extended periods of time, or when my fingers lose feeling, or when my feet look like sausages in my sandals, but there is real pain there. Real, physical and emotional pain, frustration and sadness over these symptoms I’m juggling.
Then my mind goes to a place that I don’t particularly like and my thoughts say something along the lines of: “What if you never get the chance to be pregnant ever again? Is this how you want your one and only shot at growing a baby to be remembered? By you bitching about excruciating elbow pain and fat toes?”
And then I feel guilty. I feel foolish. Because no one knows the future. And what if this really is all I get?
And then I cry.
I cry because it hurts. I cry because I’m so thankful for this baby that kicks me, and wiggles and rolls around at all hours of the day and night and reminds me of his presence. I cry because I’m so happy every time I learn more about his development inside my belly. I cry because my hormones are completely and utterly out of whack. I cry when I think about what kind of person this baby will be. I cry because I feel guilty for having physical symptoms that are agonizing and make this pregnancy difficult. I cry because more than anything I am so grateful that I have this chance. I cry because all of this put together is A LOT.
And then I realize that all of these symptoms, all of these tears, are more than worth the payout.
Because then I think about that moment when I get to meet this baby for the very first time. And the joy, excitement and anticipation of that moment in time literally overcomes me.
And then I cry harder.
And by this time, the birds have started chirping outside to announce the upcoming break of dawn, and I can tick off another day on my calendar. Another day closer to this baby’s birth day.